India reinstates additional COVID-19 measures for travellers from some countries including Singapore
SINGAPORE: Singapore has been designated by India as one of several "at-risk" locations from which travellers will need to follow additional COVID-19 measures upon arrival.
This comes as countries move to deal with the emergence of the Omicron variant, which has sparked worries around the world that it could resist vaccinations and prolong the nearly two-year-old COVID-19 pandemic.
The revised guidelines, released on Nov 28 by India's Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, also place the United Kingdom, South Africa, Brazil, Botswana, China, Mauritius, New Zealand, Zimbabwe and Israel on the "at-risk" list.
The list also states "Countries in Europe", but does not mention which nations in particular. Hong Kong is another territory listed as an "at-risk" location.
The guidelines, which take effect from Dec 1, also require travellers to submit 14 days of travel details before the trip and a negative RT-PCR report.
"Passengers originating or transiting from at-risk countries shall be informed by the airlines that they will undergo post arrival testing, quarantine if tested negative, stringent isolation protocols if tested positive," said the ministry in its guidelines.
Travellers from the "at-risk" locations have to take a self-paid COVID-19 test at the point of arrival, and wait for the results before leaving the airport or taking a connecting flight.
Those who test negative will have to undergo home quarantine for seven days, before being tested again on the eighth day. If the second result is negative, travellers have to monitor their health for a further seven days.
Those who test positive will have their samples sent for genomic testing, and will be managed and treated at a separate isolation facility.
Singapore launched a vaccinated travel lane with India on Monday, with six designated flights daily from Chennai, Delhi and Mumbai.
The arrangement was announced on Nov 15, with Transport Minister S Iswaran stating that Singapore and India have been discussing the mutual recognition of vaccination certificates.
Since Nov 12, India has started recognising vaccination certificates issued by Singapore. The Ministry of Health had also updated its public health assessment, upgrading India to Category 2 in its Travel Health Control Measures from Nov 19.